Thursday, December 13, 2012

Day 343, December 13

     Dorothy walked with a pronounced slump, due to several

operations on her back and hips.  Occasionally she used a cane,

but she normally depended upon a walker to help her get around.

     That December morning, while I waited in line with her at

the store pharmacy for her prescriptions, she looked wistfully at

a lightweight walker.  "I wish I had the money for that.  It's

the Cadillac of walkers." 

     No child wishing for a shiny red bike had ever gazed at

"wheels" with such longing.  She gave a rueful glance at her old

walker that had to be lifted with every step.  Like many seniors,

Dorothy lived on a meager social security check that left little

for "extras."

     Discreetly, I checked the price of the walker and winced

when I read it.  It was far more than our anemic checking account


     My husband and I took Dorothy back to her apartment, helped

her inside with her sack of groceries, and promised to visit the

following day, Christmas Eve.

     We returned home.  An idea niggled at the back of my mind.

Could we pull it off?

     Tentatively, I voiced it aloud to my husband.  Could we buy

the walker for Dorothy?  Alone, we couldn't afford it, but with

the help of friends, we could.

     Only one problem remained:  overcoming my embarrassment at

admitting that we didn't have the necessary funds on our own.  My

pride took a backseat to helping a friend.

     I began emailing and calling Dorothy's friends, both in the

community and in our church, explaining the situation, stressing

that any amount would help. 

     The money began arriving.  Five dollars here.  Ten dollars

there.  Twenty and twenty-five.

     Elated, I counted the money.  With what my husband and I

could contribute, we had sufficient for the walker.

     We hurried back to the store and purchased it.  I bought a

card and took it to her friends to sign.

     Christmas Eve fell on a Sunday.  Following church services,

we drove the short distance to Dorothy's home and found her with

her brother, his wife, and two grown sons. 

     My husband carried in a large box topped with a bright green

bow.  "Merry Christmas," he said.

     Dorothy looked perplexed.  "You're already given me a

present," she protested.

     "This is from all your friends."  I gave her the card

containing more than a dozen signatures.

     She repeated every name, still not understanding.

     In the meantime, Larry opened the box and put the walker

together.  The surprise and pleasure on Dorothy's face shone

brighter than the Christmas star.

     I looked more closely and saw that what I took for pleasure

was, in reality, joy.

     "You did this for me?" she asked in an awed voice.

     "We did it," I said, gesturing to the card.

     Dorothy used the walked constantly, becoming very adept at

maneuvering it through grocery store aisles, at church, at doctor

     That wasn't the end of the story, though

1 comment:

  1. What a wonderfully heart-warming story. I can't wait to see what's next.